graham robinson

dailymotion

Sly & The Family Stone - Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (1970)

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‘The Return of the Living Dead’ Artwork by Joel Robinson aka Artpusher.net and Graham Humphreys.

billboard.com
Cynthia Robinson of Sly & the Family Stone Dead at 69

Robinson was one of the first female black trumpeters to gain notoriety in a major recording act, and saxophonist Jerry Martini tells Billboard that she should never be considered a background figure. “She covered a lot of ground,” he says. “She was the first female trumpet player and the first African-American trumpet player in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She wasn’t in the back. She was out front telling you to get up and dance to the music, and she could blow with the best of ‘em, always.”

The Sacramento-born Robinson’s roots ran deep in blues and R&B. She told Family Stone biographer Joel Selvin, “I used to hear all these guys on 78s at my mother’s when I was a teenager…I used to daydream that I was onstage playing the solos; I’m playing with B.B. King and I’m playing with Lowell Fulsom, Jimmy McCracklin. And I literally ended up being in a band that backed them up at different clubs. It was like a dream come true, but that was as big as I could dream.”

Robinson joined Stone – who dubbed her “one of the best trumpeters in the world” – in his Sly and the Stoners band in 1966 and stayed on board as he crafted the pop/rock/R&B synthesis that became the Family Stone. After the group’s dissolution in 1975 she went on to play with bassist Larry Graham’s Graham Central Station and also worked with George Clinton, Prince and as part of Sinbad’s Aruba Summer Soul Festival. Since 2006 she’s been part of the Family Stone with Martini and drummer Gregg Errico. The group also features her daughter with Sly Stone, Sylvette Phunne Stone, a singer and multi-instrumentalist in her own right. (Robinson had one other daughter, Laura Marie). [Read More]